Eleven players on the breakaway LIV Golf tour have filed an antitrust suit against the PGA Tour. Three of them — Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones, have an immediate challenge: whether they will be permitted to play in the first round of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs, which begin Thursday in Memphis.
On Monday morning, the PGA Tour responded, leaving no doubt about its stance and the likelihood of the players returning for the playoffs. After joining LIV, the players, the Tour responded in its filing, “now run into Court seeking a mandatory injunction to force their way into the TOUR’s season-ending FedExCup Playoffs, an action that would harm all TOUR members that follow the rules. The antitrust laws do not allow Plaintiffs to have their cake and eat it too.”
The eleven LIV players, headed by Phil Mickelson, have alleged a range of improprieties on the part of the PGA Tour, including a wide-ranging pattern of coordinated behavior between the Tour and other significant golf entities. The players filed suit in the U.S. District Court of Northern California. The case is likely to take months or even years to resolve, though there are matters of a more immediate nature within.
The Tour’s 32-page response focuses primarily on the three players attempting to compete in the FedEx Cup playoffs, for which they’d qualified prior to joining LIV. The players have claimed “irreparable harm” if they are not permitted to play.
Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.